Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Bass : Alexandre Kawecki
Vocals : Alexandre Cionca
Drums : Loïc Cattin
Guitar : Jan Waligorski
Trumpet: Timp Spörli
Violin: Piotr Kawecki
PD: What type of artist are you?
Jan: Most of all, we are a bunch of friends who love rock music. Another aspect would be that we are fully independent, just spending an enormous amount of our free time in music. We are still students though, so financially we are limited to what we can do, but it doesn’t stop us from reaching our goals and it just keeps us progressing one step after the other. We try to be as thoughtful and honest as possible, as a band, but also as individual people.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Jan: It all started when we used to play with friends in a small studio provided by our school. At this time the band was formed by Alex Cionca (singer), Loïc (drummer), other friends and me (guitarist). In High School, Alex Cionca and I formed another band as Loïc moved to a different school, so we went out of touch a little. After we decided to break it up, we met again to jam with Loïc in 2016. We finally needed a bass player, and we thought about Alex Kawecki, whom we met in our High School music class. After some jams and covers, we decided to be more serious and make our own songs. Now it’s been 3 years and we feel fortunate to have a great chemistry, even if each member has its own musical taste, which, as we think, is ultimately a strength.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Loïc: We all love the Queens of the Stone Age a lot. I think it’s safe to say that they are the ones that gave us the motivation and desire to play together but otherwise we also love some newer bands like All Them Witches, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. Apart from those bands each of us has its own music taste which gets mixed in our own works.
Alex Cionca: As for our non-musical influences, I feel like we have a strong visual influence from some old Sci-Fi movies such as Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc. We thought that the overall theme of space and its discovery would be an interesting way to represent our music as the possibilities of colors, shapes, etc are infinite.
Jan: Personally, the show Dark was also a huge visual and thematic inspiration. I think the work on the plot was phenomenal, they deserve more credit. Even though the plot is about time travel, it kind of inspired me in an artistic way. You never know whether destiny exists and things are set or you can change it until the very end. The writers just use their tools to perfection so it’s really inspiring to try and do the same in music.
Alex Kawecki : I’ve always been a sucker for cinema and visual art and have been inspired by the works of Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson. I feel like what I appreciate the most in music is the atmosphere I get, just like when I watch a masterpiece and get overflowed with the colours. And I think it’s something I try to do as well in our music.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Loïc: Our dream would be to make a tour across Europe and play gigs in the beautiful cities all over those countries.
Alex Cionca: Yeah, meeting people from different countries and having some sort of a connection with them through our music would be an amazing experience.
Jan: In a sense, as the rock scene in Europe is heterogeneous, it would be so amazing to connect with those cultures and other artists.
Loïc: As difficult as it seems, our ultimate goal would be to be able to live from our music or at least to have more time for writing and recording new songs as our professional occupations don’t really allow it.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Alex Kawecki: We mostly write the songs together, really there is not one person who does all the work. Sometimes someone will come up with a song concept or a riff and then we’ll just follow the flow by jamming over the idea. Usually, the lyrics are written last and everybody tries to put some comment and thoughts in order to come to a smooth agreement.
Alex Cionca: Each of our songs has its own and unique theme to it. Sometimes it’s about something deep such as how superficial our society can be. Sometimes we let ourselves go with whatever comes to mind by over-dramatizing the reaction of a child after breaking a plate. Let’s say that our creation process is mainly just having fun and letting the feelings and the emotions speak in a very spontaneous way.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Alex Kawecki: We use some of the typical ways to do the promotion like streaming plateformes, social media or just by word of mouth. It’s important for us to involve our friends and to work with local artists in the development of the Sinai Planum universe through the making of artworks and posters.
Loïc: Liveshows are an amazing way to meet and connect with new people. Since a lot of them were cancelled this year, we’ve organised a festival called the MoonAlps Festival and invited good local bands. It was an amazing experience, all the shows were impressive and we are very proud to have built this event from scratch in roughly 3 weeks.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Loïc: It’s a great way to promote new songs and to reach a large number of people. Still, it is important for the musicians to have the freedom of choosing the way they want to promote their work. From our point of view, it’s important and rewarding for the artist when someone buys a cd/vinyl or even a t-shirt. Material merchandising is long lasting and can create another type of relationship with the object and the artist. Finding an old CD in your room can bring back the old emotion of the time when you listened to it, it’s a priceless moment that you do not really have with online music.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Jan : Sick, sick, sick by Queens of the Stone Age. It captures such a visceral feeling and the tone of the song is just out-of-this-world. I feel like I’m in sweat everytime I listen to it.
Alex Cionca : Wide Awake by Audioslave. Audioslave and especially Chris Cornel were a large inspiration since I was a teenager. I feel like the vocals in Wide Awake are relaying the emotion almost to perfection and there is a beautiful coherence and connection between the lyrics, the melody as well as the energy.
Alex Kawecki : Definitely Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley. The first time I heard this song it just started to shiver and the feeling never got away. That whole album is for me a masterpiece, Jeff’s voice is so pure and the guitar-bass arrangements are extremely well thought out.
Loïc : Rain Song by Led Zeppelin. The chords in the beginning of the song really give me the impression of a rainy afternoon. It’s the only song that can really calm me down in any situation.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Alex Cionca: That’s a funny one, I really cannot stand audio messages on Whatsapp. I feel like it’s such a waste of time just because someone doesn’t want to take the time to write something.
Loïc: I have a grandfather who is a watchmaker, maybe that’s why I like when things are done on time. It’s perhaps better like that, as I’m the drummer 😉
Jan: The thing that annoys me the most is when one of us has something to say during a rehearsal and someone keeps playing over him. Gosh what a waste of time.
Alex Kawecki: I hate it when there’s a jungle of tangled cables in our studio. Must be a little leftover from my dad and his ocd 😉
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Loïc: There are quite a few moments that really made us proud, for example the MoonAlps festival that we already mentioned before. We were also very happy when we heard our songs for the first time on big radios like Couleur3 or when the announcer from RSTLSS radio gave amazing feedback on our new single “Visions”. It is really rewarding when we hear people talk about our music or share it with other people.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Jan: We’re about to release our self-produced EP named “Sauvage Café” on November 20th and we’re already recording another single called “Circles”. We have a lot of songs to record next but recording and mixing takes a lot of time. We hope to have an efficient 2021. Also we’ll have the pleasure to play the release-party of our upcoming EP on both november 20th & 21st, respectively at the RegionalRock in Lausanne & at La Bille in La Sarraz.
Loïc: Moreover we have dates for 2021 to be confirmed.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
Alex Kawecki: For now we have three singles namely “Visions”, “Rocket Fuel” and “Burn the Hideaway” and soon there will be two more from our soon to be released EP. We are on most streaming platforms like Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, … Merch will follow soon. In the meantime, if you want to help us, you can buy our songs on Bandcamp. We would really appreciate it!